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Jakarta Post

Workers unite for demands of better life on May Day

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 2 2012   /  08:02 am

Factory worker Rusminah, 39, struggled to keep up in the rally to mark the International Workers’ Day, or May Day, that went smoothly and peacefully on Tuesday.

“It’s tiring because I’m no longer young. But I want to be among my fellow workers to fight for our rights. This kind of demonstration benefits us workers,” said the single mother.

Rusminah, who has been working for 16 years in a garment factory in Cakung, East Jakarta, said that it was her fifth time to join the annual rally and that every time she saw some improvement in workers’ welfare. After last year’s rally, she said, the company finally agreed to provide health allowances for the workers.

The policy change in her factory was an example of workers’ victories over their employers, despite concerns from several corners that the tendency to seek solutions to manpower issues on the streets...